Vineyard grapes

South African brand Fish Hoek will be Fairtrade-certified from this year’s vintage – the first of Accolade Wines’ wineries to achieve the status.

The company - which owns Hardys, Echo Falls and Kumala - said the move had been made possible by the development of a broader Fairtrade supply base in South Africa’s wine industry.

While overall UK sales of Fairtrade food and drink down 4.7% last year to £728.2m [Kantar 52 w/e 9 November 2014], Fairtrade alcohol sales have grown 27% to £44m.

“With the expansion of Fairtrade in recent years we are confident we have secured a long-term, quality supply source and we will continue to work with local growers to ensure consistency and quality for years to come,” said Accolade marketing director Amy White. “We are committed to Fairtrade as it guarantees investment back into local communities, improving working conditions and the standards of living for farm workers and their families.”

Anna Pieredes, wine manager at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming Fish Hoek to the growing family of Fairtrade wine. This launch means more vital economic and social benefits for growers, their families and communities – and more lives transformed.

Fairtrade wine was going from from strength to strength in the UK and globally, she added. “To have a major business such as Accolade Wine on board is a great boost of confidence for the entire Fairtrade movement, and we hope the switch will inspire other brands to follow suit.”

The Fish Hoek range includes seven single-variety wines (rsp: £7.99). The Sauvignon Blanc and Cinsault Rose are both listed in Morrisons and Waitrose, while Waitrose also has a Shiraz, and Morrisons a Pinotage. The brand’s Malbec is available at Majestic, while Chenin Blanc and Merlot are in convenience.